Durban - Public order policing had to usher people to their seats as they jostled for position in the packed court corridors to get first glimpses of the accused alleged to be behind the hit on Bluff money lender, Narend Anendrai, 46.
Jayshree Baijnath, 39, (attorney), Shana Mangroo, 44, (businesswoman), Dhanaseelan “Deven” Manickam, 43, (former policeman), Rajendran “Trevor” Chetty, 44, (businessman), and Veronica Rathilal, 44, (independent advocate - not part of KZN Bar) walked into a tense courtroom which fell silent when they made a brief appearance at the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
A sixth accused (whose identity is known) did not appear because he has apparently been hospitalised.
Last Monday Gregory Pillay, 37, of Chatsworth pleaded guilty to the premeditated murder of Anendrai and was sentenced to 18 years in jail.
Pillay testified that to his knowledge there were six people involved in planning the hit which he executed. He claimed he was travelling with Chetty and Manickam when they went tracking down Anendrai’s black Mercedes Benz ML on the night of March 18. Pillay testified that Manickam handed him the firearm which he used to murder Anendrai in Havenside Drive, Chatsworth.
He said he was acting on Manickam’s instructions to shoot to kill and he was told by Chetty and Manickam to “take him (Anendrai) out”. He said he was promised R120 000, but only received R20 000 from Manickam.
Anendrai’s widow told the court her husband had a finance business that was involved money lending.
On Friday five of the accused handed themselves over to investigating officer Sagie Govender of the SAPS provincial specific crimes unit.
Rathilal handed herself over on Sunday.
A policeman from the public order policing unit had to keep calm as family members of the deceased and the accused jostled for position in the corridors of the court. The matter was transferred to the Durban Magistrate’s Court where the six suspects will be applying for bail.
The State prosecutor has indicated they intend to oppose bail on grounds that the murder was a schedule 6 offence of the Criminal Procedure Act (a very serious offence).
The five accused have been remanded to the Chatsworth police cells while the sixth is in hospital. All six are expected to appear at the Durban Magistrate’s Court later this week.
Meanwhile, a source said a substantial amount of money was involved. Earlier, the Daily News reported R1.1 million was allegedly owed by two of the suspects. The total owed, however, could be as much as R4m.
He also said four more arrests were expected.